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COVID-19 takes life of Dover Twp. Fire Chief Brian Widmayer, 34

The York Dispatch
Deputy Chief Brian Widmayer runs the live-in volunteer firefighter program at Dover Township Fire Department, Wednesday January 13, 2016. (John A. Pavoncello - The York Dispatch)

The virus that causes COVID-19 has taken the life of Dover Township's fire chief.

Chief Brian Widmayer, 34, died Tuesday of complications from COVID-19, according to Chad Deardorff, president of the York County Fire Chiefs Association and York City fire chief.

Widmayer joined the department in January 2006 and rose through the ranks, including holding the positions of captain, deputy chief and chief, according to a post on the Dover Township Fire Department's Facebook page.

He also served on the department's administrative board.

Dover Township Fire Chief Brian Widmayer

He "was a best friend and mentor to many that came through our doors," the statement reads.

Widmayer was involved in creating dorms in the firehouse where up to 14 volunteer firefighters could live rent-free, in an effort to solve the ongoing problem of dwindling volunteerism.

Last fall, he and a business partner saved a Spring Garden Township home where three military veterans were living, and which had been near foreclosure.

At the time, Widmayer said while it wasn't the best financial investment, it was the right thing to do.

He and business partner Ray Abboud did renovations and brought in new furniture, kitchen appliances, televisions and patriotic artwork, The York Dispatch reported in November.

More:Investors save Spring Garden Twp. veterans' home from foreclosure

More:Dover Twp. Fire Chief: 'Something needs to be done' about firefighter dorms

A memorial service for Widmayer will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at the Dover Township Fire Department for family, friends and fire-service personnel, according to a news release from the department.

The fire department is at 3700-1 Davidsburg Road.

In 2009, Widmayer was sentenced to county prison and community service after pleading no contest to vehicular homicide. Prosecutors alleged he was texting while driving when he fatally struck a physically disabled pedestrian, 43-year-old David Peters, in York City.

Dover Twp. fire station is home - literally - to volunteers